A woman asks her husband "Why do you
have to argue all the time?"
He responds "I don't argue
all the time!" (If you didn't get the joke, read on because this
article might be about you.)
Have you ever worked with
people who just have to argue with you for the sake of arguing?
place a higher value on winning than anything else Ė even when
You can say the sky is blue, and
they'll say itís red. Even though it is blue, they get
gratification from the phantom power they think they gain by not conceding that you're right.
whatís the difference between unhealthy arguing, and a healthy
A healthy discussion is when two people share their respective
viewpoints with each other, peacefully.
When two people can agree to disagree
but do it respectfully, they can discuss just about anything.
Arguing is when one person won't let up
until they get the other person to concede.
I'm a Protestant. I once had a discussion about God and religion
with a Catholic sitting next to me on a flight to Chicago. He
had no delusions of converting me to Catholicism in a one hour
flight, and I had none of converting him to Protestantism. We
both learned a thing or two about opposing views on religion,
and shared a few laughs.
But there are terrorists who
label anyone who doesn't share their radical views as "infidels", and see that as justification for cold blooded
So am I comparing people who like to
argue with terrorists?
peacefully coexist with people who don't share their views, and
neither can terrorists. Both have the attitude of
"I will punish anyone who doesn't agree with me". The
only difference is that terrorists attack with physical
assaults, while chronic arguers bombard their victims with
never-ending verbal assaults.
Chronic arguing is a form
of anti-social behavior (another commonality with terrorists),
and it is very difficult to work with anti-social people.
As a manager, you have authority over employees who always
argue. Just as with so many other employee problems, the
solution lies in one word: "Boundaries".
When the time
for discussion is up, make it clear to your arguing employee
that the discussion has ended and it's time to move on. If they continue to
argue, make it clear that this can be grounds for termination.
Some will try to further manipulate you with a response
like "So you're threatening to fire me for having an opinion?"
"Wrong on two counts.
One, what you'd be fired for is continuing to do something
you were told to stop doing. That's insubordination.
two, managers don't fire employees. Employees fire themselves. Do
you want to fire yourself?"
You have power. Don’t be
afraid to use it.
To Your Success,
If this describes your spouse more
than your employees, read "Boundaries in Marriage" by Drs. Henry
Cloud and John Townsend.
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